Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Have a ball with Venetian Masks

Come to the ball!

Lately, a friend showed me an exquisite Venetian mask she owns . Hold one in your hand and you will know what I mean . A piece of art. I tried it on myself . Surprisingly, it is light and comfortable. I must say it is papier mache at its best and so wonderfully moulded. Best still, the fun started - who knows me ??

The mask is indeed colourful and so is the history of Venetian masks. Transport yourself to Venice - to a time when masks were used to hide the citizen's social status. History has it that during the 13th century, the citizens of the Venetian republic were wealthy, luxurious and decadent. To keep their secrecy, the wearing of masks became popular. As no one could be identified, the citizens chose to remain unknown, be it for illicit, personal or romantic encounters. Being incognito was a real comfort zone to conduct one's activities in any manner desirable! The authorities in the small city of Venice had their hands full coping with the rampant immorality. Thus the wearing of masks went through periods of being outlawed by the Catholic Church.

However, things changed over the years. In 1979, the wearing of masks became popular once more. Come Carnevale (Carnival of Venice), the masks put gaiety and colour into the lives of Venetians and tourists. It's mardi gras time and fun spills out into the streets of Venice.

I watched my friend's video of the masquerade ball which she attended last year. It was amazing. Dubbed the mother of all balls, I could sense the excitement. It was a night of endless fun and gaiety. Not only did the drinks flow, the camaraderie behind the masks continued into the wee hours. What a party! I declared. The ladies were gorgeously dressed and the colours made such a magical evening. Should you desire some fun and have a ball of a time, go wear a mask and attend a masquerade party. The choice is yours - sport a full ( Bauta) or half mask (Columbine).I wouldn't mind hiding behind one myself.

Springtime flowers - kisses of summer for a Venetian mask


The masks are characterised by their ornate designs. Gold, silver, royal purple, sunny yellow and other striking colours are ever-present. Fur, fabric, gems, sequins, exotic bird feathers, silk ribbons wildly decorate the masks. The artistry is obvious and it charms you.

There's plenty to know about the beautiful Venetian masks. I found many more exciting masks at 1001venetianmasks. There's Bauta, Columbine, Medico Della Peste, Moretta - all Venetian masks bearing names which are new to me. But one thing's for sure. They are all beautiful masks. Behind the artistry are master artisans who take pride in giving the wearer authentic beauty and rich Italian history. The allure awaits you - just pretend you are someone else! Go on, have a ball!


Who hides there?

Sophisticated and beautiful!

Wear a Venetian mask and party away!

The eyes have it - isn't she a beauty?

36 comments:

  1. They are gorgeous. My Aunt has one similar to the last three pictures in your post. It's stunning.

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  2. These are stunning. I've always been drawn to these masks. So beautiful and dramatic.

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  3. Hi
    Eternally Distracted, wow! what a lovely coincidence! my friend loves to show off this mask to her friends.

    Indrani, thanks my friend:) wish I was at the ball myself.

    Mary Aalgaard, yes, it is a piece of art to wear, have fun and to admire.

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  4. Beautiful!
    Windy greetings from Helsinki!

    BLOGitse

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  5. Oh those masks are beautiful.

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  6. I think this is fascinating and exciting. Glad to know that it is back in fashion again. What an interesting way to have a ball.

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  7. Hi
    xplorer, thanks for coming by. That's an apt description for the masks.

    BLOGitse, thanks so much! Is it howling there in Helsinki? Don't blow me off 'coz I'm pretty light! LOL.

    alicesg, thanks. the variety is amazing and fascinating.

    Autumn Belle, that's an idea - get dressed to the hilt for a ball. Have a party and live it up!

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  8. Gorgeous and what a history! Do you think I could just wear this to the grocery store for fun?

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  9. I believe the masks are witnesses to many stories.

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  10. Oh you're so right, they really are the most wonderful pieces of art. And so steeped in a rich a fascinating history! I have always found Venetian masks to be an influential muse, and this has post has rather inspired me :) I'd love to go to a Masquerade Ball one day, they must be the most amazing affairs.

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  11. Beautiful masks! They really are a piece of art. I loved to read the story behind them. Have a wonderful day, my dear.

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  12. The mask is so beautiful... I always wish to have one ...but too expensive for me.

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  13. Real works of art they are! Very beautiful!

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  14. Hi
    Bossy Betty,gorgeous indeed! That's what I call fun. Mardi gras is also about having street fun.Just think people will drop what they are doing and be really curious! The grocer might be thankful you brought more customers to his shop! LOL.

    Ocean Girl, i believe so too. I'm ready to hear some!!

    Sam Liu, glad you enjoyed the masks and its rich history. Sam, I believe with your poetic skill, you can make it your story.

    Rosidah Abidin, a piece of art to treasure - wear it or keep as a decoration piece.

    Lay Hoon aka mescrap, i guess the beautifully hand crafted pieces deserve the prices. you might be lucky if you check out offers.

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  15. Hi Keats,

    Thank you so much for the gifts, I appreciate them so much and yours are his third gifts, the first was given by our maid's agent Mr Ooi, the rest he got were most monetary form. I would like to post the photos of the toys in my blog sometimes later. Thanks again.

    Love,
    babYpose

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  16. Hi
    AJ7, glad you like the masks. Hope the new term goes well.

    babYpose,thanks for coming by. you're welcome and I hope your baby gets hours of enjoyment from them. Wow! a great start to have some savings from such a tender age:)) I did get a sneak peek of him when Lisa and Fairuz showed them to me.

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  17. How intriguing! I love the information behind the masks. They are gorgeous.

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  18. Such exquisite masks, Keats! And a lovely background on the history of masquerades. Now I know the difference between the Bauta and the Columbine -- Thank You, my friend. I can go home and tell my parents about it. They came home with a collection of porcelain miniatures from Venice. I rather fancy the one with springtime flowers.

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  19. Pretty Masks..
    Thanks for such a Nice Post!!
    With all Best Regards!!

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  20. Hi
    Icy BC, the history of Venetian masks is intriguing indeed.

    ~Covert_Operations'78~, the masks are really super stuff. Venice is a great city to revisit. I went there aeons ago.Have to get Ravi there. Am sure your parents enjoyed the magic of Venice. Hope you're fully recovered. I still maintain a good rest is therapeutic:))

    Joy Palakkal, glad you like the masks. Thanks for coming by. Do visit again.

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  21. Have not been to any mask party. Wow lovely mask especially the last one. tQ.

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  22. I have seen these (live) before and they are stunning- So much fun too!
    Thank you for sharing them- I enjoy seeing all of your updates- Have a great day.

    www.ladyofthearts.blogspot.com

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  23. Hi
    Bananaz, that includes me! wouldn't it be such a thrill to attend one? Have a good day.

    Lady Ren, How nice! I can imagine the excitement. Thanks so much for coming by.

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  24. Nice mask. Would love to attend a masquerade ball....

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  25. Now that you have learned so much about Venitian masks, you have to visit Venice during Carnival!!!

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  26. I wouldn't have to put any make-up on if I got some masks like these. They are exquisite!

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  27. Hi
    Pete, make a wish and hope it all comes true! But get a Venetian mask first and have a ball of a time.

    Laura in Paris, that's one for the wish list. I visited Venice ages ago when I was a student nurse in the UK and would love to go there again with my husband who has not been there.

    Rosey, how clever to think of that!It's hard to match the exquisite look.

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  28. Beautiful! They are pieces of art.

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  29. Hi
    Kat, thanks for coming by. I would love to own a Venetian mask myself.

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  30. Ciao Keats, I feel at home in your blog, a good costume party.

    P.S thanks for your visit and comment, I appreciate

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  31. Ooooo ... love the masks. They are just exquisite, feminine and so mysterious. Would definitely love to attend a masquerade party ... never been to one. Sure it'll be cool.

    Btw, thanks for dropping by my place. Appreciate the comment too.

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  32. 欣來 , wow! that's serious! You will enough to have to your own collection.

    Wenny Yap,to be part of a masquerade ball will be really fantastic. Hopefully you get an invitation for such a grand event.

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  33. Hi
    Sciarada, thank you! am glad this post has a homely feel for you. I have Venice on my list to visit places with hubby.

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Great to have you popping in!